Two Rim Country women had gratifying and life-changing experiences as missionaries in Ecuador earlier this year.
Simone Lake of Pine, a Bible teacher, writer and international speaker, had the opportunity to speak to an overflowing church on the last day of the mission.
“The last day, I had the opportunity to share with a home church,” Lake recalled.
“It was pouring down rain, yet it was a packed house with people standing outside sheltered by a tin roof and multiple umbrellas. The Bible message, I taught encouraged others to clearly see God’s great love for them, despite what they see with their circumstances.”
Cassie Jones of Payson joined Lake on the trip to Ecuador. The young woman has traveled to Mexico several times with her youth group for short-term missions.
“From the beginning this mission trip was different than what I expected,” Jones said.
“As each day passed, I learned more and my passion for missions increased. This experience has changed my life!”
Jones is part of a mentor program that Lake has developed to work with youth and young adults in various areas, including ministry and future life goals. She began to mentor Jones at the first of the year.
Throughout this mentorship, Jones said she learned that she was even more interested in becoming a missionary and asked to be included on this Ecuador trip.
Lake and Jones joined the Valley Rim Association of churches from Arizona to serve in Santo Domingo in various capacities. This is the fourth trip the group has made to Ecuador, but it was Lake’s first trip there.
She participated in various ministries, including: church planting, church strengthening, evangelism, leader development, children’s ministry, women’s ministry and more.
The work was done primarily in Santo Domingo, but also went into surrounding areas.
Lake is already making plans to join the Ecuador team next year to be able to teach and train church leaders. She is working to join in teaching with Formarse Instituto Biblico Bautista-Seminario Teologico Del Ecuador (Bible Seminary Institute in Ecuador).
Her home church, the Church on Randall Place in Pine, has already begun to partner with the work in Santo Domingo by donating funds for Bibles.
“A common situation I see often when traveling abroad is the great need for resources, teaching and training for other church leaders. We are so blessed here in the U.S. Basically anyone has the opportunity here to get an education in various ways and formats. That is not so in many other countries,” Lake said.
“It has been a passion of my heart to be able to give back to those who are unable to attain educational advancement due to means beyond their control. Especially when I have been so fortunate with my education and to have gone to seminary ... How can I not assist them? To see the intelligence, dedication and willingness of the hearts in these individuals wanting to increase their learning and education, yet not having the ability to do so ... it is extremely disheartening.”
Simone Lake is a full-time minister serving as Bible teacher, international speaker, missionary and author. She attends Church on Randall Place where she serves alongside her husband, Pastor John Lake. Read more about her at www. simonelake.com, www. simonelake.blogspot.com and Facebook.